It was announced at a press conference yesterday (June 23) that the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT) is parterning with the Sports Association of Phuket to host the ‘SAT Phuket Tennis Invitation 2022’ at the multipurpose tennis courts at Saphan Hin Park from today until Sunday (June 24-26).
Phuket Vice Governor Pichet Panapong oversaw the press conference held at the venue at 5pm yesterday and was joined by Saroj Angkanapilas, Mayor of Phuket City, Thammawat Wongchareonyot, President of the Phuket Sports Association, and Charoenchai Suwansri, SAT Department Director of regional sports.
Vice Governor Panapong explained that the event will include aspiring young tennis players, seniors and professionals to help reinforce Phuket’s standing as a sports city, as per directives by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports.
He revealed that former Thai professional player Danai Udomchoke will be involved at the event helping to train younger players and pass on invaluable tips from his playing career. Danai reached the ranking of world number 77 in January 2007.
V/Gov Pananpong added that the event was one of many scheduled as the island continues its drive to promote sports tourism and that it is hoped tennis as a sport can prove popular among youngsters in the province.
He also explained that the event will attract a significant number of tennis fans to the island for the weekend which will help boost the local economy via spending on accommodation, travel, shopping and dining.
Mr Charoenchai said the event will be an annual occasion developed via a collaborative effort by SAT, the Thai Lawn Tennis Association and the Thai Senior Tennis Association to ensure the right calibre of players are invited to compete.
The goal, he added, is to develop the event to a level that sees talented athletes competing each year to help grow interest and participation in the sport locally and nationally.
Having additional side projects such as coaching sessions and development courses run by former players such as Danai Udomchoke will further help towards achieveing the goal, Mr Charoenchai added.
The competition will be structured by gender to feature all male and all female contests. There will be an over-14 competition and a seniors doubles competition where the total age of the four players must not be less than 100 years of age. The prize money on offer to be distributed across the various contests is B300,000.
Other players of renown from the Thailand Lawn Tennis Association taking part include Worachon Rakpuangchon, Worawin Kamthornkittikul, Nattapat Phewbangrak, Rada Manatrivat, and Runya Wongthienchai.